It’s Wednesday and I’m still floating on air after a glorious long weekend at the Sew South retreat in North Carolina. Admittedly, it’s been an exceptionally busy month filled with lackluster dinners, hectic school mornings, and tons of work on an exciting project that I can’t share with you quite yet (ugh, driving me crazy!), so this long weekend away came at just the perfect time for me.
I did attend last year, and yes, the sewing time was wonderful, the classes were amazing, the hotel bed sheets were heavenly, but I think what really drew me back most was the feeling of deep camaraderie. So much sharing and encouragement, heaps of laughter and a few teary moments,and this year was no exception. So much emotion, so much renewal. And despite the all-night sewing sessions, somehow I returned home this week feeling refreshed and clear. I’m hugging my children a little tighter, sweeping dried peas off the floor with just a little extra bounce in my step, and looking at my day through fresh eyes and a renewed gratefulness.
This was my workspace at the first open sew night…I was right in the center of the large bustling ballroom, surrounded by wonderful friends, eating delicious takeout, watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and diving into some fabulous patchwork- aaahh, it was sheer heaven!
The first night, several of our Circle 7 Travelling Bee members were presented with their finished quilt tops, which was such a special moment. They’re all so unique! Here’s Courtney’s, who requested we all add our “favorite things” to it. Since I was the last stop on this quilt’s journey, I was able to photograph it at home before the retreat.
I actually took a zillion more photos of this one, because I just adore it, and had so much fun adding to it and getting it all ready for Courtney, but I’ll share more of those with you in another post, maybe later this week. :)
Here’s Jennifer’s quilt in bold solids.
Here is Valerie’s…she’s going to add the extra love block in an extra row somewhere.
Oh, here’s Dana’s, which I think turned out UNBELIEVABLE! She actually received it before retreat with enough time to add some borders and finish it, which was exciting to see. For some reason I can’t find a picture of Lindsey’s (grrrr), and mine still needs to be stitched together so I’ll share those in a later post too :)
Despite all my blabbing, I did get a good amount of sewing done…a lot of piecing, and also made this cute pair of fabric buckets in Heather Valentine’s super fun workshop. My original intent was to save them as Easter baskets for my girls, but alas, I couldn’t wait to give them to them pretty much the instant I got home. Maybe we’ll still use them for Easter goodies though :)
I also started a really luscious embroidery project, courtesy of the lovely Alison Glass and her fabulous workshop. Thanks to Sew Lux Fabrics for providing us with a yummy rainbow of thread, and to Pellon for just the right fusible interfacing to stabilize the fabric. I was hoping to get so much further by this time, but darn it if I didn’t lose the only needle that I had with me, just as we took off on a 4 hour flight- ah! My hands were aching for a project the entire time!
I can’t believe the delightful handmade goodies that I brought home! Not one, but 2 journal covers (the one thing I REALLY was hoping to get, so I am ecstatic!). Can I even describe to you how much I adore these covers??? The embroidered one on the left was a sweet gift from Jennifer of Ellison Lane, and the one on the right is from the oh-so-sweet Laurel of Sing All You Want who was my secret sister. I love that one happened to contain a ruled notebook and the other has graph paper- I’m so set!
And here’s another darling gift from Laurel…isn’t it precious?!? What a great idea to use clear vinyl on the front of the pouch so you can see the contents!
One of the most special moments of the weekend was on the very last morning, when Valerie presented Jennifer, our tireless retreat hostess, with this star sampler that we all contributed to. I’ve gotta tell you, I’ve experienced some pretty teary quilt giftings, but this topped all of them. Jenn’s reaction to the surprise was so precious, and I’m pretty sure everyone around me was crying (or maybe all that weeping was just me!).
When she saw the back, she pretty much flipped her lid. I know I did, when I saw it!
I just love the signature blocks that Valerie had us send in as well- they’re so perfect on the back.
Seeing all of the ladies gathered around to marvel at the quilt afterward was so cool. I just love how projects like this bring us all together in such a special way. Everyone was pointing our their blocks, and guessing who’d made what, or asking about fabrics…it was like a magnet that pulled us in and gave us even more connection.
Well, that’s my weekend wrap up! Now it’s off to grill something tasty for dinner on this warm spring-esque evening (well, at least it is here where I am). Thanks for stopping by to check out my highlights. Feeling so blessed. :)